St Helens are on the road to the League Leaders’ Shield for the first time since 2019 and the first time under Kristian Woolf.
Their thumping win over Hull FC last week helped nudge them towards the trophy and they’ll be hoping to repeat that success this week against the other Hull team.
As for the Robins, they’re low on troops and know that another defeat could all but end their play-off hopes late in the season. They need a season best performance if they’re to defeat the Champions and keep their season alive.
Saints will again be without Morgan Knowles who has picked a ban whilst Sione Mata’utia faces a number of weeks on the sidelines with an injury. Jack Welsby is fit enough for a return after last week’s absence.
Compounding Hull KR’s injury woes, both Matt Parcell and Ethan Ryan have received bans after the defeat to Leeds. Ben Crooks is also absent from the squad as are Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Greg Richards through injury. Lachlan Coote is back in time to face his former club whilst Mikey Lewis could also return. Danny McGuire has only been able to name a 19-man squad.
Match Preview – Key Battles:
Will Hopoate vs Lachlan Coote: All being well, Lachlan Coote should be able to make his return to the Hull KR side this week after suffering from concussion and what a time to do so against his former club. He’ll be up against Will Hopoate who was never really signed as Coote’s replacement but has spent most of his season in the fullback role shining with tries and assists.
Tommy Makinson vs Ryan Hall: Perhaps England’s two best wingers of the last generation and two wingers we could see at the World Cup will do battle. Ryan Hall returned from injury last week and looked at his usual wrecking ball best whilst Tommy Makinson had a terrific and impactful game against Hull FC last week. What a battle this should be.
James Roby vs Jez Litten: Like Ryan Hall, last week Jez Litten was terrific despite the defeat to Leeds but he’ll have a huge job on his hands against the cerebral Roby who could be regarded as Super League’s best ever nine. He will at least get to return to his preferred position after Matt Parcell’s suspension.
Where the game will be won and lost:
Hull KR are low on numbers once again which will make containing the Champions physically even tougher and it’s already perhaps the toughest task in Super League. The Saints won’t take any prisoners either as they look to secure the League Leaders’ Shield and build momentum heading towards the play-offs.
Score Prediction: St Helens 32-6 Hull KR